On Saturday, I hopped into the car with the family and drove for an hour and a half up to Ludlow for the annual Medieval Fair (actually, it was just over an hour and a half thanks to a guided tour of the countryside thanks to my SatNav!). The weather was cold enough to freeze the nuts off a brass monkey and I’d only had five hours sleep. (This bit is to make you realise just how dedicated I am to all things medieval).
Anyway, after finally getting through Ludlow itself we managed to find a sort of car park. I say sort of because I think it was actually a building site that the entrepreneurial workers had decided to convert for the day in order to make a bit of extra Xmas cash. And at £4 a car, I’m sure they are going to have the biggest turkeys around!
The fair was held in the grounds of Ludlow Castle – the stronghold of Roger de Mortimer, Hugh Despenser’s nemesis. There, I met up with my daughter and her dad – yes, my faithful old re-enactment group Plantagenet were there – and we did a quick walk around before retiring to the re-enactors’ marquee. I say, gratefully, because at this point my hands had turned blue and I couldn’t feel my legs. After thawing out a bit, I left the dog at the tent with Ellie and then mum and I went to explore the stalls a bit more. Thankfully, most of them were in the largest marquee I have ever been in.
There were more craft stalls at this event, and less re-enactors stalls than at Tewkesbury Medieval Fair. I found that a bit disappointing although I shouldn’t really have been surprised as this was more for people to buy Chrissie pressies – and not many people, I suspect, would have a ballock dagger on their Christmas list! It was also very crowded (probably due to it being under cover rather than spread out over a field) so that at times it was difficult to see what was being sold.
I had taken lots of cash with me in the anticipation of finding “shiny new things”, i.e. irresistible goodies that desperately needed a home – MY home. But, apart from buying a yummy Roast Hog Roll, my cash remained untouched – I just did not see anything that needed to be bought. Despite the crowds swarming around the stalls, I didn’t see many other people buying either (with the exceptions of the food and alcohol stalls!). Maybe it was the cold keeping hands warm in pockets, but it certainly did not seem a profitable day for the traders.
In the end, the cold won and I left after about and hour and a half – desperate to get back to the heater in my car. Even then, it took me a good five minutes or so before I was thawed enough to drive. Even the dog wanted to go home. We never got the chance to view the castle, but it certainly looked beautiful – even with all the portaloos and signs surrounding it. I shall definitely go back to see it when the weather is warmer and the stalls have all gone, enemy territory or no.
Secondly… continuing the latest thing sweeping our little corner of Blogland (see also Alianore, Gabriele and Susan – who started it!), I also succumbed to the “Dummiez Book Cover Maker 2008“. Maybe there should have been a stall at Ludlow selling these alternate history books: